Pair programming madness (or musical chairs for programmers)
I've been meaning to write about this game I developed at the Boston Software Craftsmanship Meetings for a long time and apparently the time for writing is now! It's a fun, silly, chaotic way to pair with friends and strangers. Without further ado here's the description:
Pair programming madness is a collaborative coding game similar to musical chairs.
- Select a code kata. At Boston SC we've used: https://github.com/moss/messaging-exercise and found it well suited.
- Everyone brings a laptop with their favorite language setup with a testing framework
- Present a code kata and everyone pairs up
- We’ll work on the kata for 15 minutes, then rotate pairs. One person stays + one person goes
- Repeat step 4
What's this look like? Well, you'll only work on one code base max 2 times and pair with 3-4 different people. Additionally you'll both be in the position of explaining current (legacy) code to a new pair or coming up to speed with a code base / env you're not familiar with. (Basically controlled chaos, but fun)
Important note: Because it’s possible that two people will be working in a language + env that they’re not familiar with, you should make sure to have either an easy to use IDE, that’s kind of point and clicky or a vanilla text editor (no vim / emacs) and an easy way to run the tests.
Running 3 iterations will take ~90 minutes.